Each year Vespa calendar would show the latest brands of Vespa scooter, and as time went on the models became independent, modern women.
Mention the phrase “Vespa scooter” to people of a certain age, and you’ll conjure up a picture in their minds of the iconic Vespa calendar. Since the 1950s this calendar has been known around the world, but especially in Italy where it originated, as an example of printed beauty. That’s because it featured stylish illustrations of beautiful women in scenes that showed off the Vespa scooter in various locales and situations.
Launched in 1951 by the Piaggio ad agency, the Vespa calendar featured glamorous girls in scenes of a post WWII Italy, and it was an immediate success. It grew to exemplify the spirit of Italy as it grappled with all sorts of issues in rebuilding itself after the horrors of the war. The calendar showed not only beautiful but also smart, independent women. They were always pictured with a Vespa scooter nearby, and some of the scenes featured the models as horsewomen, sailors, and stewardesses.
Each year the calendar would show the latest brands of Vespa scooter, and as time went on the models became independent, modern women.
Styles changed, and starting in 1955 the calendar started featuring not professional models, but women who were smart and fashionable looking, just like the scooters they were pictured with. The calendar became wildly popular, and in 1956 the company ran a promotion where people could vote for the most beautiful girl in the calendar, and millions of people voted.
Each year the calendar got more popular, and models and movie stars competed to be included. By 1965 almost a million calendars were printed in eight languages and three editions.
By 1968 the calendar went back to an emphasis on the girl next door, and the models were pictured in outdoors scenes, at parks and beaches. Vespa was promoted as the cleanest vehicle around.
Throughout the years, the Vespa calendar has continued to be treasured by collectors worldwide.